Monday, December 21, 2009

Packing

I sit down before my suitcase and wonder how I'll ever manage to stuff enough of my wardrobe into it.  I'm a heavy packer, and I'm only taking one bag.  This could be a problem.  I fold the first sweater, and as I lay it inside I'm suddenly transported back to the day I packed for our Senior Trip.  I was a bundle of nerves that day.  Kyle was still completely oblivious to my existence and I was determined that the next week of time together would change that.  I wish I could go back and tell myself that it would work out.  I spent altogether way too much time worrying and not nearly enough savoring those fleeting moments of tender uncertainty and hope.

A faded grey t-shirt comes next.  I feel its softness, hold it to my cheek, and remember that it is what I was wearing when we shared our first kiss.  God, I was so scared...  I was leaving his house to go to work.  He walked me out to my car and as I turned to go, he caught my hand, pulled me close and whispered that he loved me.  He said it slowly, earnestly, and to this day it is my favorite moment of my entire life.  It wasn't the first time he'd said it.  It was the second, but it was the first time I was convinced it wasn't a dream.  It was the time I believed it.  We'd both had time to think since that first declaration, and both still trusted that it was true.  We broke apart, but he kept both my hands in his. 

"Would it be okay?"  I love that he asked first.

I just nodded my head.  Honestly it was all I was capable of.  And then he kissed me.  And it was soft and sweet and sincere...but most of all it was perfect.

Into the suitcase the shirt goes, and with it a hundred other bits of my life, all trapped between the threads.

I'm digging through my closet, trying to decide if I have a dress that's suitable for winter weather when I find another moment tucked away:  A night just before we started dating.  It was the night after prom, and our entire gang of friends spent the night at Kylie's house because we'd been out so late.  Everyone else was upstairs sleeping, but Kyle and I were still in the living room, me stretched out on one sofa and him on another, staring at the ceiling and talking about anything and everything.  We traded secrets and dreams and fears, and when Kylie's mom came downstairs at six the next morning, we pretended to be asleep, unintentionally drifting off into what was the most peaceful rest I've ever known.

I smile as I tuck this memory away again, and venture downstairs to pick a book for the plane.  Here I find the volumes that kept me company while Kyle was away, the places I escaped to during our separations.  Here are the books I gave him for his birthday two months late when he came home this summer.  Here is the one he purchased for me the day we went shopping and said I didn't need it.  I couldn't justify spending $25 on a book just because it was new, but he wouldn't let me go without it.  He said I should let him do things for me while he was here...soon he'd be away again.  I stopped protesting after that, just like he knew I would.

I pull my robe around myself a bit tighter and select a book for the flight, and as I do so I realize that even this fuzzy pink monstrosity holds a bit of our past.  It was while he was home this summer.  We were at my house, and it was somewhere in the vicinity of 2AM when we both realized we were hungry.  A quick raid of the kitched turned up nothing of interest, and we were stumped.  I thought for a moment.

"What about pancakes?" I proposed.

"Pancakes are good," he said.  So I pulled down the flour and sugar and milk and such and went to work.  I spilled flour on my fluffy pink robe, but those were probably the best pancakes I've ever made.  Later that night, or that morning, rather, just as we were drifting off to sleep he laughed a little and told me he loved me.

"Why?" I asked, smiling.

"Because.  You just made me pancakes at two o'clock in the morning."  And then we both laughed.

I play those precious moments over and over in my mind, and I smile to myself, knowing that these memories are only the prequel to the story we'll share.  I can't wait until next Monday.  I can't wait to see what the next chapters will bring.  You know, if I ever manage to get packed.  :)

25 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful post. I can sympathize with your absence from Kyle. My brother is in Navy bootcamp right now - throughout the entire holiday season actually. It is difficult to be away from a loved one, especially at this time of year. I'm so glad you will get to see Kyle soon. Please tell him I say thank-you for serving our country. Our soldiers and veterans do not get the love, gratitude and support they deserve. I'm truly grateful for his sacrifice (and yours!) Merry Christmas!

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  2. Wow, a beautiful post, glad that u will be getting to spend some time with him, u both make a gorgeous couple.

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  3. awh you post makes me so hopeful :) you guys are so sweet.

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  4. I hope there's room for a teeny-tiny Christmas card in your suitcase full of clothes and memories. :)

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  5. that post was incredibly sweet.

    and just a tip for packing if you havent already finished: roll, don't fold. you can fit three times the amount of clothes, at least. trust me.

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  6. Your words truly paint a real love story. Beautiful and pure.
    Lisa E.

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  7. Lovely. Absolutely heartwarming. I rotate somewhere between the blackest jealousy and the most heartfelt goodwill towards you and your relationship whenever I read your stuff. Sounds like you guys have some incredibly good memories together.

    Oh, and good luck packing, heh heh...

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  8. You'll somehow get packed. And even if you didn't get packed, I somehow suspect that you'd still go. :)

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  9. Aw, I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time over there. And who knows maybe you'll have a new article of clothing to remember your trip by.

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  10. What a great post; I'm absolutely sure that you will get packed soon enough, and I am sure that each item you place in it will have some sort of connotation...and that's okay. :) It's wonderful to have those memories. My boyfriend and I have similar moments, too...the ones where you inexplicably "know" that you love each other, or that you are in the middle of some great adventure...even if it is making pancakes at two in the morning, or ordering KFC for the first time at 10:00 at night.

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  11. PS I have some mad packing skills and an intense love for organizing things. So, if you want to lay everything out, I'll pack it for you. :)

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  12. This was beautiful to read. I hope you have lots of fun in Germany with Kyle. I wish you both nothing but the best. Merry Christmas!

    Lots of love,
    Sarah

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  13. Oh dear Carrie ... I can see you pining for your other half as you pack for your adventure. I hope it is everything you want it to be ... another magical memory to add to the series. I am sending you holiday wishes for a special, merry Christmas ... with your family and with Kyle. You will love Germany - I just know it.
    Hugs and love, Lyn

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  14. I love this post. And to Sarah, thanks for the tip! I am so excited for you, that you get to see Kyle so soon. :)

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  15. Carrie...what a beautiful post. I recently re-united with my fiance (after only 6 weeks...but still) and I definetly did not put that much thought into packing...I literally jammed everything into my allotted baggage...actually my mum had to help me pack so it would all fit. Have a fabbo Christmas and an amazing time with Kyle! xo

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  16. Oh, Carrie, this is just so beautiful. I don't know what to say.
    I wish all the best for you and Kyle, and a great trip to Germany. Something tells me you two just belong together.
    I really hope I will get to meet you next summer :) Lots of Love, Sophia

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  17. Carrie - I'm soooo excited for you! I see your little counter and it says 6 days - woo hoo! I have 21 more days until I seen my boy, but then I'm with him forever, so I can wait the extra few days. You are gonna love Germany - it's absolutely beautiful. Especially if you like mountains, hiking, the outdoors. It's fabulous. I hope you have a lovely time and take lots of pictures. You deserve the best vacation ever!
    Also, which book did you decide to bring? There are so many good ones these days.

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  18. Lovely post again, Carrie. Have a wonderful time here in snowy Europe! Tell Kyle I said hi. (Yeah, I know he doesn't know who I am... so? ;>) Merry Christmas! x

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  19. Wow! The way you tell stories just draws me in. You should be writing novels! :] I hope you have a wonderful holiday season in Germany... you and Kyle deserve to have an amazing time together!

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  20. First up, thank you all so very much for your compliments. :) They never fail to make my day.

    Young Fabulous & Newlywed, thank you so much for the support and kind words. I'll be sure to pass the message along to Kyle. It means a lot that you took the time to say thank you. :)

    Courtney, of course there is. :)

    Sarah, thanks for the tip. ;)

    Sarita, yes, that's true. I'd totally leave without my things...

    Dawn, KFC at ten at night? Lol. Very nice.

    Lyn, thanks! And Happy Holidays to you and your family as well. I hope your dad has a safe trip back! :)

    Kayla, your deadline is coming quickly too! :)

    Victoria, yay! So glad you two are together again. :)

    Sophia, I hope so too! I'll be sure to contact you after the move so maybe we can plan something. :)

    Kattrina, that's so close! I'm taking The Catcher in the Rye, and I just started downloading "True Blood" to my iPod. Everyone says the series is fantastic, so I'm excited to see it. :)

    Iida, actually, he kind of does know who you are in a way. He knows you through your blog. When he was home this summer I showed him some of your poems. I'd been gushing about them like crazy over the phone while he was in basic training so I figured he needed to see them for himself. ;) Anyhoo, I'll tell him. :) And merry Christmas to you, as well!

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  21. First, let me say that I am totally in awe of your new layout! Awesome!! I need to learn how to do this. Second, this is such a sweet post! Enjoy your trip. The minutes are ticking away quicker than you realize. :)

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  22. You are an amazing story teller to take us to all those places, thank you for sharing those moments with us.

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  23. You are such an engaging and sincere story teller. Thank you for sharing with us. :-) Merry Christmas to you and your love!

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  24. Thanks guys! I hope you had wonderful Christmases and will have great new years. :)

    And I can't believe I'm really leaving!! It's only a matter of hours away now!

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